Variegated House Plants

Aroid Mutation vs. Aroid Variegation

Variegation is a mutation, but not all mutations are variegation.

What I mean by this is that variegation is a mutation. But some mutations, such as leaf mutations will not be considered variegation or a new variety of plants, unless the growth is consistent. Therefore, if you want to consider a plant variegated, it must be a consistent and reliable trait.

This is very important when it comes to purchasing a variegated plant. You do not want to buy a plant with a mutated leaf and pay the price of a variegated plant. Unfortunately, most new plant keepers do not know this and will purchase a plant with a mutation and not a variegated plant for lots of money.

A leaf is showing variegation

A leaf expressing variegation is a mutation. However, true variegation must meet a few standards. Is the variegation on the stem? If it isn’t then it is unlikely the mutation will continue. This means that the variegation isn’t stable and it is not a true variegated plant.

You might discover some of your plants putting our variegated leaves. This happens spontaneously or through environmental stress. Whether that’s from too much sunlight or other extreme factors.

How to stabilize variegation

If your plant has mutated and began to express variegation on the leaf and on the stem. You can cut that node, and hope for a growth point to appear along the variegation on the stem. If you are successful, provide the proper lighting, humidity and feeding schedule to encourage the variegation to continue. If not, the mutation/variegation will disappear.

New variegation is always difficult to stabilize. So if you are successful at growing a second or third leaf with variegation, then you’ll have more opportunities to stabilize it. If you find your plant reverting, simply cut off the reverting portion of the plant, and try again. Note, sometimes the variegation will skip a few nodes. Be patient, and you might be rewarded.

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